Freelancer Invoice Template

As a freelancer, you typically need to send your clients an invoice before you’re paid for your work. That’s why it’s important to have a process that enables you to invoice and follow up with clients in a timely manner.

With our free downloadable freelance invoice template, you can track your work and streamline your billing process. Read on to learn how to write an invoice for freelance work, including what should be on the professional invoice, and how and when to send it off to clients to get paid quicker. 

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What Should You Include on a Freelance Invoice?

Regardless of whether you create your invoice for freelance work in Microsoft Word, Excel, or as a PDF, there are some standard items to include on every invoice you send. The exact details vary depending on the type of freelance work you do, but every freelancer should bill for the basics - consultation, expenses, and the finished project. 

Invoicing tools will make it easier for you to create invoices and customize them per client account. Since you are a freelancer, the responsibility falls to you to create a self employed invoice that covers all needed information. This includes your business name, your contact details, the client’s information, a unique invoice number, and the payment due date and payment terms. On top of this, the following items should always be included in every freelancer invoice template you send out.


If a client hires you to provide advice or instruct them on how to complete a specific project, it’s considered consultation work. For example, if you are a freelance copywriter, you might complete a website audit for a client to provide detailed advice about the type of changes they should consider making to their website.

This type of work is typically billed at an hourly rate. Therefore, when billing for consultation services, create a professional header indicating this service and write in the subject line of the invoice a detailed description of the consultation services rendered, the hourly rate, and the total cost. Keep this first invoice on hand and follow up with the client to see if they would like to hire you to cover the work you suggest in the consultation.

Project Related Expenses 

Depending on the type of freelance work you do, you may have project-related expenses. The costs of materials, software, and tools needed to complete a project are all considered expenses, and you usually pass them along to the client. For that reason, you can create a materials or supplies section in your professional looking invoices to make a detailed account of what was used during the project.

For example, if you’re a freelance photographer who has a client requesting you to capture images of their wedding and place them in an album, the cost of printing the images, the photo paper, and the album are project-related expenses that should be billed to your client.

Because clients typically like to know exactly what they’re paying for, it is important to create an itemized list of all materials used. You should enter each expense as a separate line item on the freelance invoice template, and include any details about the items, such as a description and price per unit.

Finished Project

It is common for freelancers to invoice clients on a per-project basis. When billing a client per-project, you should send an invoice for the total cost of the project. In some cases, you may also want to create separate line items for different parts of the project so the client can see the costs broken down. Therefore, include the services rendered, and the total cost of those services in the invoicing process. 

Imagine you are a freelance web designer billing a client $2,000; the total might include logo design, website setup, and landing page design. If so, list each item as a line item with an individual cost that totals $2,000.

Invoice payment terms 

The right words go a long way. When you are creating your invoice templates for freelance work, there are vital invoice payment terms that you should include to establish how and when you will get paid. They will help you use the correct terminology to financially protect your business and ensure both parties understand the expectations – including penalties and late fees for missed or late payments. 

Professional invoices should always include these terms, which cover everything needed during the payment process. This includes the total amount the client pays, the payment due date, payment options, and the preferred payment method of your business. Clearly stating such terms, and identifying that late payments will incur a late fee, will help you get paid quickly and settle outstanding client bills.

What Should You Charge for Freelance Work?

Freelancers set their own rates. And while your rates depend on your experience and quality of work, you should also take industry standards into consideration. PayScale indicates that freelance writers in Canada make an average of $30.20 an hour. while photographers, bookkeepers, and virtual assistants have average hourly rates that hover around $20 per hour. Consider using these figures as a base rate, then increase or decrease your base hourly rate to reflect your experience and industry expertise.

Keep in mind that different jobs will require different methods when it comes to charging clients. For example a photographer might not charge clients by the hour, but rather give package deals for the amount of days they spend working on a photo shoot. For that reason, be sure to clearly state these charges on your freelancer invoices. 

A perk of charging by the hour is if your client changes their mind midway through a project (which happens quite often) or wants you to fix something – this way you can easily bill them for the extra work they wanted you to do. However, charging based on a project makes it easier to agree on an official price without needing to do any calculations. Additionally, when you charge based on the project, you are getting paid for the value you bring to the table, instead of just your hourly pay. 

When Should You Send a Freelance Invoice?

It’s common for freelancers to collect a deposit upfront and send an invoice for the remaining cost of the project once the work is complete. But you can also require payment in full up front or accept monthly payments. But when you manage multiple freelance clients, it’s a good idea to set payment terms in advance and use those terms for all of your clients. Ensure your clients understand your payment terms upfront by including them in your freelance proposal.

To make things even easier, consider automating your billing process by using QuickBooks Online invoicing software. With invoicing software, your company can track client accounts, send out multiple invoices, check outstanding invoices, and send reminders to ensure you get paid for your work. At the same time, it also makes it easier to send recurring invoices to long-term clients for ongoing business transactions. Sending invoices is also a breeze, with electronic invoicing and payment options. 

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